College of Criminal Justice News

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Developing the Finest for Thai Police at the NYPD

Ph.D. Student Yingyos Leechaianan completed an internship with the New York Police Department.

Ph.D. Student Yingyos Leechaianan completed an internship with the New York Police Department.

A Ph.D. student from Sam Houston State University got a rare view inside the New York Police Department as part of an internship program.

Leechaianan checks out a Compstat map on the computer.
Leechaianan checks out a Compstat map on the computer.
Yingyos Leechaianan, a Police Captain from the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau in Thailand, was assigned to the Office of Management Analysis and Planning to learn about the Compstat system, a process that NYPD uses to regularly analyze crime issues, devise crime-reduction plans, reallocate resources and evaluate strategies. In addition to assisting to prepare and analyze crime data for weekly Compstat meetings, Leechaianan worked on a gun buyback program and closed circuit television cameras for the city.

“As everyone knows, the NYPD is one of the best police agencies in the country,” said Leechaianan. “I have learned a lot here, and I strongly believe that the knowledge I gained while I am doing an internship here would be useful to Thailand. Specifically, to date, Thai Police still has no unit that analyzes crime in a macro level and provides such information to police commanders for making effective police practices and policies.”

Leechaianan is commissioned as an officer in the Royal Thai Police.
Leechaianan is commissioned as an officer in the Royal Thai Police.
Leechaianan began his police career in 2006 as a sub-lieutenant at the Makkason Police Station in Bangkok as an inquiry officer, a position which investigates all criminal and traffic cases in the precinct by collecting and analyzing evidence and taking alleged offenders through the judgment process. After being promoted to Lieutenant, Leechaianan was awarded the 2008 Royal Thai Government Scholarship to pursue Masters and Ph.D. degrees in criminal justice in the United States. Upon his return to Thailand, he will teach at the Royal Police Cadet Academy.

Leechainan
Leechainan with NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Leechaianan said the main advantage of the Compstat Unit is holding precinct commanders directly accountable for addressing crimes in their area. It also plays an important role in combating corruption.

“For me, evidence-based policies and practices are very important for the government agencies (where) the main goal is to provide the public safety since it can reduce the risk of policy failure,” said Leechaianan.

Leechaianan hopes to implement a Compstat program in his country, but after working in New York, he realizes it may take five to 10 years to accomplish.

Leechaianan with one of NYPD's finest.
Leechaianan with one of NYPD's finest.
“Despite the difficulty in developing Compstat, I will do my best to make it happen in my country since it is all about public safety, which is the top priority of the Royal Thai Police,” said Leechaianan. “If Compstat could help Thailand become a safe place like New York City, one of the safest large cities in the U.S., there is no reason not to try it.”

Leechaianan also is researching the impact of a gun buyback program in the city. The New York City Police Department is proposing to pay up to $200 to any individual who turns in a qualifying gun. Leechaianan study will look at the impact of the program on gun-related crimes.

NYPD shows off its camera surveillance system used for counterterrorism.
NYPD shows off its camera surveillance system used for counterterrorism.
Finally, Leechaianan worked with the department to identify possible locations for new closed circuit television cameras to develop a proposal to present to city officials. He also got to spend a week at the New York Police Academy, watching physical and tactical training.

Training police in New York is a lot different from Thailand, where officers spend four years in an academy and earn a Bachelor’s degree.


Compstat maps helps keep track of crime in the city.
Leechaianan will take his extensive training in the United States back to Thailand to help improve police practices in his county. He received his Master’s degree from Boston College and expects to graduate with a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from SHSU in May. His dissertation examines public confidence in police and courts across 36 nations and six continents, which grew out of an article he published with fellow Thai graduate Seksan Kruakham and Dr. Larry Hoover in the International Journal of Police Science and Management.

“I am really interested in this topic since to date, Thai Police Department has faced the issue of low level of police confidence in the police,” Leechaianan said. “The problem is directly related to the efficacy and legitimacy of the police as an institution in society…Therefore, the goal of my dissertation is to greater understand public confidence in legal authorities and its determinants in a comparative perspective, so as to increase the effectiveness of police practices.”

NYPD Deputy Commissioner James O'Keefe (SHSU 89)
NYPD Deputy Commissioner James O'Keefe (SHSU 89)
Leechaianan said he is grateful to his professors at Sam Houston State University and police officials from the Royal Thai Police for giving him this opportunity in New York City. He also credits Deputy NYPD Commissioner James O’Keefe, another SHSU alumnus who is in charge of training for the department, with assisting him in getting the competitive internship.

“I would not get this incredible opportunity without the support of many faculty members at the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, my Commissioners at the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau, Royal Thai Police and our SHSU distinguished alumni – Dr. James O’Keefe,” Leechaianan said.



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